Kindled Meme

– exploring the purpose of connection

Build on the basics




There is so much talk about engagement – about being there for your customers – giving a high five and a W00T! on social to say thanks… but it’s not enough. People expect more from us.

At the end of 2012 I watched people start to grumble that Engagement was not a strategy – it didn’t convert into sales and it didn’t convert into value. Its a shame – I like people and I like to connect – it kind of felt nice to be social, even if you couldn’t show an ROI.

And so we made 2013 The Year of Content – how to write, photograph, photoshop, pin, tumbl, press-up some original content – something that sparked a like, a love, a ‘me too’ – a reaction that google would notice and push us up the page rankings.

You know, UGC is king.

All fine, but whats the point of these exchanges – we’ve created a channel, opened a door, shown a little bit of flesh above the hem line but we havent commited to be helpful – we are still broadcasting.

We want to connect because we want Loyalty and Advocacy – but have we covered the basics? How can we expect the rewards of a relationship if we haven’t covered of the fundamentals of Customer Service.

Answers now, please. To all kinds of questions. Because your product is complex and in fact is my life is even more complex. And here – right now, on social – Im going to share that with you.

Social – Its a tough place to be if the intent and mechanics aren’t there to get folks what they need.

A time-line of buzz is kind of fine – but you have to cover the basics, right?






Author: jameslramsay

Practice director at the ShelfLife project - digital by day, campfire by night

5 thoughts on “Build on the basics

  1. Good point, James. Even though I’m a big fan of all these social media channels, and I do have a preference for brands (and therefore am more likely to buy their products) that actually respond on Twitter, FB, Instagram etcetera. However: if the product is not good, has little or no value to me and/or the customer service is lacking if I have a question/issue: no matter how often we have nice conversations on social channels, no matter how often they like, +1, RT my content: I’m not going to buy. All well and good, but if the basics are lacking, you have no sustainable business future.

    • By the way: is it me, or did you change the name of your blog?

      • Arjan – Lovely to hear from you

        And yes – I changed the name – it was called doCollaborate – but I found my self wanting to talk about more than collaborations and ‘docollaborate’ as one long string looked confusing. I called it Kindled Meme which i though was loose enough to let me write about anything… and then my wife tells me she doesn’t know what a meme is and Im thinking it sound pretentious … but KindledMeme I am for now anyway 🙂

        I had a great chat this morning with some very nice people from Nokia – and the Service in social thing was echoing. Yes, buzz and engagement – high 5’s and back-atcha’s are good – but it all has to be anchored in effective, responsive service. Its also a very human process and so if the ‘process’ isnt right its an exhaust job – yet the talent to do this is really valuable.

        From outside-in we want brands and companies to help us and be in good time – and from inside-out we are all learning how to be connected and helpful – and maybe embrace these customers as assets and not threats.

        But everything starts with good service – that gives us the space to open up. Then we can share pictures of cats.

        And on another note – I hope IDEO community is a great adventure for you (I must stop by – I haven’t forgotten!)


  2. Agree and disagree.

    I agree that you need to get the basics right. As Moira would have described it, it is an hygiene factor. The social and so on is a great differentiator, but only works if the company has ticked the hygiene factors.

    But I disagree that it is still broadcasting. Or with the implicit message that broadcasting is where the problem is.

    • Hi Ana

      Getting the Customer Service basics right is tough in social – its too new and the stuff customers want – being structured, being ‘persistent’ and omni-channel whilst still being human, personal and following things through – it’s hard to do in practice.

      Doing it at scale (a coupe of thousand tweets a day) is even harder.

      Is it a process thing or a product thing – or is it just the pain that says that more innovation or investment is needed? I think that changes in each company – but Hygiene is tough here – its not yet a known craft and is still a bit of an art.

      What Im starting to see is that its leadership and strategy that is making the difference – its individuals that cut through the fear to get this stuff right – there are some inspirational folk out there for everyone else to learn from.


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